Friday, August 31, 2012


we met up with some friends at the woodlands park zoo. it is a really nice zoo. they have canopies of trees that make you feel like you are walking through the forest. it was quieter and not as busy as the san diego zoo, but we had a blast. penelope saved the map and circled all the animals that she missed and wants to see next time, so we will be regulars. isla is really starting to be perceptive to animals. she love dogs, mainly, but the zoo creatures still tickled her fancy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

random things

1. we have been busy doing things around our house. we've been ripping wallpaper off of our bathroom walls. i have a new hatred for wallpaper. why's it so damned hard to get off? anyway, we recarpeted and repainted the girls room and we really love it. i will show pictures soon.  ps soon is a relative term, fyi.

2. we are going camping. we are hoping for dry, warm and also dry weather. updates to come.

3 penelope is going to preschool this year. it will be 2 days a week, so i think i will be able to cope with her absence.

4. i am currently training for a half marathon on the 27th of october. it will be 1/2 marathon # 4 for me, but it will be my first solo run. i have always had a running buddy (thank you, anna, zach and mom) but i will be alone with my music and my thoughts for this one. i think i can. i think i can. i think i can. ps if you read this, felt sorry for me and would like to run with me, then i'd be cool with that.

5. i have the cutest kids EVER. proof:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


i made raspberry freezer jam a while back. there are few things that taste better on a piece of bread than raspberry jam. i haven't really been into canning in the past. i may leave the canning door open for the future, but currently i don't have a lot of interest in it. i do like the idea of preserving some goodness by freezing it. i really like the idea of freezing herbs from my herb garden and the fresh blueberries that i will be picking one of these days. does anyone have clever freezer ideas? please share.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

happy belated to my beloved.

bryan had a birthday. i may be 23 days late on this, but i still wanted to say happy birthday to him here on my weblog.

here it goes: "happy birthday B," emily said, "also, i think you are super cool. do you want to hang out sometime?"

i pretty much destroyed his biscuits and gravy breakfast. so it goes.
But, we enjoyed coconut & banana cream pie, candled by penelope jane.

homemade pitas and chicken tzatziki

i have tried a few new recipes lately and my tummy has been thanking me for it. i thought i would share this delicious meal from a couple of weeks back. i made pita bread for my first time. it was surprisingly easy and they turned out super delicious.

pita bread
recipe from smitten kitchen

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (16 oz./454 grams)
2 teaspoons salt (1/2 oz./13.2 grams)
2 teaspoons instant yeast (6.4 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil (1 oz./27 grams)
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature (10.4 oz./295 grams)

1. About 1 1/2 hours before shaping, or for best flavor development, 8 hours to 3 days ahead, mix the dough.

Mixer method: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed (#2 if using a KitchenAid) just until all the flour is moistened, about 20 seconds. Change to the dough hook, raise the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid), and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary. (the dough will weigh about 27.75 oz./793 grams.)

Hand method: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for a scant 1/4 cup of the flour. With a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together.

Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto the counter and scrape the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. At this point it will be very sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 5 to 20 minutes. (This rest will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with.)

Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary. (The dough will weigh about 27.75 oz./793 grams.)

2. Let the dough rise: Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 3 days), checking every hour for the first 4 hours and pressing it down if it starts to rise.

3. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating.

4. Shape the dough: Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before baking.

optional: about 10 seconds before cooking spray with water from a spray bottle.  

5. Bake the pita: Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff well if it is not moist enough. See how the pita puffs, then, if necessary, spray and knead each remaining piece with water until the dough is soft and moist; allow to rest again and reroll as before.

optional: about 10 seconds before cooking spray with water from a spray bottle.

Proceed with the remaining dough, baking 3 or 4 pieces at a time if using a stone or baking sheet. using a pancake turner, transfer the pita breads to a clean towel, to stay soft and warm. Allow the oven to reheat for 5 minutes between batches. The pitas can be reheated for about 30 seconds in a hot oven before serving.

 before baking up the pitas i mixed up this cucumber relish and hat the chicken marinading.

chicken tzatziki
recipe from style at home

For chicken marinade:

1/2 cup yogurt 
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh lemon juice + 2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp hot sauce
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Pinch salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For cucumber relish: 

1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
Pinch salt
1 cup seeded, finely diced tomato
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
6 tbsp coarsely chopped and pitted black olives
4 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill 
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp fresh lemon juice


To prepare chicken marinade, whisk all ingredients except chicken breasts together in a bowl. Combine marinade with chicken breasts in a large zip-lock bag, seal and gently shake to evenly distribute marinade over chicken. Place in refrigerator and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

2 Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber relish. Lay cucumber slices in a sieve placed over a bowl and sprinkle with pinch of salt. Leave for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until cucumbers soften and their liquid begins to drain into the bowl. Stir occasionally.

3 Combine the tomato, onion, olives, parsley, dill, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in drained cucumbers, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

4 Grease grill and preheat to medium-high. Remove chicken from zip-lock bag and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove chicken from grill, let rest for a few minutes and slice thinly on the diagonal. Lay chicken slices on top of each pita round and divide relish evenly among them. Garnish with a little extra yogurt and serve.

after eating this, you may want to eat only this for the rest of your life.  i did.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

last week: the good and the bad

 we waited for 2hours for bryan and me to get our driving licenses. now we need to register our cars...i'm pretty sure that should have happened a while ago.

we went to the splash park by our house twice and to idylwood beach. oh, it was a lovely week. isla is my water baby. 
another little side note on isla, she is now a talker. this news may be a little late in coming, for a few weeks she's been consistent with her "hi" bye" "mom" and "dad".  so fun.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


one of the joys of living in the great northwest is the u-pick farming. there are plentiful berry picking opportunities for the amateur berry connoisseur.

i took the girls to remlinger farms last week and picked for an hour. penelope was such a good helper and isla was such a good eater of unripened berries. we came home with 6 pounds of raspberries and we have been thoroughly enjoying them since.

blueberries anyone?!

Monday, August 13, 2012


it has been beautiful out! it only took seattle the whole summer, but we have sun. i've been a little light on the content here, because we're out trying to enjoy this beautiful summer weather. also, i'm trying to get our house all sorted...

this weekend we went on our first campout. it was with our ward and it was only one night. isla and penelope are so cool, it's like they were built for camping. they slept well and were so fun. we had delicious food, bryan and i stayed out late and stargazed( we definitely got in on that perseids meteor shower-sweet!) and we went canoeing. it was a success. 

 isla is sitting on the floor behind me. can you see her little hat?
 isla enjoyed canoeing--correction: isla loved licking her life vest whilst we canoed.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

remlinger farms

we went to remlinger farms with some friends on monday. remlinger has a bit of a county fair feel with small fair rides, pony rides and a hay maze. they also have u-pick blueberry and raspberry fields that i am hoping to get out to this week. i really want to make raspberry jam!

penelope had a blast and it was good to go on an adventure. we've i've  been working on the house and we haven't been out much. i think we were starting to feel like prisoners.

 penelope's first pony ride. she couldn't get enough. isla tried it out and after 15 seconds, she decided it wasn't for her.

what mom, am i really supposed to pretend to drive this car? you do know i'm a baby, right?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

mmm, chickpeas

this salad came across my pinterest a while back and i had to try it. it's super flavorful, fresh and healthy. we loved it.

Chickpea and tomato salad with fresh basil

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (10g)
  • pinch of salt
Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to merge. 

thanks to green lite bites for the recipe!